10 great things to see and do in and around Brighton
Brighton is one of the UK’s most visited places, and with so much on offer it’s easy to see why. Here are our recommendations for ten great things to see and do in and around the city!
1. Take a tour of the Royal Pavilion
Anyone who spends some time in Brighton should visit the Royal Pavilion. This exotic and beautiful building was built for flamboyant King George IV, and with its Indian and Chinese inspired influences is truly unique. Although initially built as a royal residence, one of its most notable other uses was as a military hospital for sick and wounded soldiers from the Indian Army during the First World War.
2. Spend an afternoon on the pier and the beach
No visit to Brighton would be complete without a trip to the beach, and a walk along the Palace pier with its arcades, food stalls and fairground rides.
3. Explore the city’s vibrant Lanes
Another great thing to do in Brighton is to explore the city’s quaint ‘Lanes’ area. Once the heart of the fishing town of Brighthelmstone, this historic quarter of Brighton has a maze of alleyways, with an extraordinary mix of independent shops, cafés, bars and restaurants.
4. Watch a film at Britain’s oldest cinema
A little-known landmark in Brighton is the historic Duke of York’s cinema – it’s reputed to be the oldest cinema in continuous use in Britain, and offers cosy, theatre-esque surroundings in which to watch both the latest releases and re-runs of the all-time classics.
5. Take the short train ride to Lewes
The county town of Sussex, Lewes, is just a 10 minute train ride from Brighton and is also well worth a visit. It's set amongst beautiful countryside, and is full of winding, cobbled streets and boutique shops. It has a long and interesting history, and its most famous landmarks include Lewes Castle, and Anne of Cleves’ House – the place given to Henry VIII’s fourth wife as part of her divorce settlement. The town's most important annual event is the Lewes Bonfire celebrations on 5 November, Guy Fawkes Night. The celebrations, which involve burning effigies of controversial public figures, are the largest and most famous bonfire night celebrations in the country.
6. Enjoy one of Brighton’s many festivals
Brighton’s diverse nature means that it hosts a huge range of festivals and events each year. From the famous arts festival every May, to Pride and Paddle Round the Pier in July/August, the summer is a particularly lively time, but there are both cultural and food festivals to be enjoyed all throughout the year.
7. Try out a new cuisine at one of the many restaurants
There are a huge range of restaurants in Brighton, offering a huge range of cuisines. Some of the most popular include The Chilli Pickle (Indian), La Choza (Mexican), Casa don Carlos (Spanish) and of course for good old British fish and chips, Bankers.
8. Go for a walk on the beautiful South Downs
The South Downs national park is a beautiful stretch of countryside that runs from Winchester to Eastbourne. It’s easily reached by or bus, and one of the most popular local beauty spots is the legendary Devil’s Dyke — a 100-metre deep V-shaped valley just outside Brighton.
9. Watch some live music, theatre or comedy
Brighton is home to a range of great entertainment venues, from the historic Theatre Royal and Brighton Dome to the more modern Brighton Centre. All venues attract a range of British and international performers, meaning that there will always be something to suit your tastes.
10. See sharks and stingrays at the world’s oldest aquarium
Dating back to1872, the Sealife Centre on Brighton’s seafront is the world's oldest aquarium. With over 100 species, including sharks and stingrays, and vast tanks of local and tropical marine life, there is plenty to discover. You can also walk through England's longest underwater observation tunnel!
Kings Brighton is located in the heart of the city centre, 10 minutes' walk from the main train station and 15 minutes' walk from the famous beach and pier.